Michael Benton is a palaeontologist who has made fundamental contributions to understanding the history of life. He is interested in drivers all aspects of macroevolution, including the Permo–Triassic mass extinction, the largest mass extinction of all time. He is also interested in dinosaur feathers and colour, and was one of the first to show evidence for the colour of a dinosaur, and was part of the team that announced the first dinosaur tail in amber. He has written more than 50 books, including engaging books for children as well as several leading palaeontology textbooks for university students. Mike Benton founded the MSc in Palaeobiology at Bristol in 1996, from which more than 320 students have graduated. He has supervised more than 65 PhD students. He is currently Head of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.